Friday, August 11, 2006

Progress on some fronts; more to come?

August has turned into a furious slog to complete my revised, expanded and updated edition of THRILL-POWER OVERLOAD: The Official History of 2000 AD, the Galaxy's Greatest Comic. You can watch how that's going by visiting the TPO work in progress blog here. Somewhat insanely, I've set myself a target for each day of 6000 words. I can achieve that with fiction when I know my characters, have a strong and detailed plotline, and a pressing deadline to focus the attention. Non-fiction is much harder, simpler because it needs to be the truth - you can't just make some shit up, people expect accuracy. Juggling transcripts of 50 interviews and a vast pile of reference material does not make for a quick write. But when it all gets too much, I simply have to remind myself how much I want to see all this work collected under one cover. I've been involved with 2000 AD to one extent or another for 16 years now. This is no time to give in to laziness.

Of course, my 6000 words a day target will get well and truly shot to shit next week. Finally secured my ticket for the BBC Drama Q&A at Edinburgh's Filmhouse next Tuesday afternoon. Among the speakers will be Sandra MacIver, executive producer of the BBC Scotland soap River City. It'll be interesting to hear what she has to say about openings for wannabe scribes at the show. According to the blurb for the event, "there will be an announcement about several forthcoming TV writing opportunities open to new writers", so I'll be all ears for that.

Wednesday is induction day for the Scottish Book Trust's words@work mentoring scheme. I'm fortunate enough to be one of those chosen to take part in the project, and will spend the next nine months being mentored by Edinburgh-based writer-director Adrian Mead, as will two other writers. Wednesday is all about establishing the ground rules, getting to know each other and plotting the way forward. It's an exciting opportunity for me, and feels like another increment of progress on my goal to become a screenwriter. I got my first broadcast credit in June, thanks to BBC Radio 4. My aim for the next nine months is getting my first TV drama commission.

In the meantime, it's back to TPO for me. Didn't quite finish my 6000 words yesterday, got another 6000 to do today and I'm losing at least a day and a half to my Edinburgh excursions next week. But I'm almost at the halfway point on my 2000 AD book. Once I pass 60,000 words, the second half shouldn't seem so daunting...

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